Friday, April 28, 2006

Cinderella experience granted

Valley businesses pamper prom girl

Express Staff Writer

Jozey Mitcham selected a stunning designer dress at Paula's dress shop in Ketchum for the Wood River High School Prom. Photo by David N. Seelig

Some might say Jozey Mitcham met her fairy godmother this spring. Selected as "Paula's Girl," the Wood River High School senior will enjoy a Cinderella-like Senior Prom on Saturday, April 29, at Carol's Dollar Lodge. A host of generous Wood River Valley donors is helping make the experience special.

"I never really imagined it would happen to me," Jozey, 18 of Hailey, said.

For the fourth year, Paula's dress shop in Trail Creek Village in Ketchum adopted a Wood River High School girl to fully outfit for the prom.

"I think, sometimes, girls need an angel now and again," Paula Proctor, owner of Paula's, said. Each year, Paula's donates a dress and shoes to a deserving senior girl.

Jozey was selected by the Wood River High School counselors as "Paula's Girl." The honoree receives an outfit and a bounty of beauty treatments.

"I was too shocked to cry," said Jozey, who has stunning blue-eyes and playful pixie-blond hair.

Jozey was born in the Wood River Valley, where she has lived her entire life. After her mother died when she was 2 years old, her aunt and uncle, Mark and Rustin Miller, raised her. She said she is surrounded by "a ton of family" throughout the valley.

Proctor noticed the strong family support as Jozey tried on dresses in the shop. The store owner said she will never forget Jozey's aunt and grandmother looking on as the high school senior tried on every dress in the store.

Free to pick any gown from the store's impressive collection, this year's "Paula's girl" chose a long beaded gown by Sue Wong.

"She is going to look like a million dollars," Proctor said.

Jozey tried on nearly 20 gowns, before choosing the perfect prom dress. "All of my dresses are black, so I decided to try something else," Jozey said.

The entire Prom girl experience differs greatly from Jozey's affinity for mud, engines and speed. She earned the 2005 women's White Knuckle Racing Series championship title in her first year dirt bike racing. And, she loves racing cars with her family at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

To further her interests with machines, Jozey plans to pursue a mechanical engineering degree at Boise State University this fall.

Engines aside, this week she took time off from her job as a bank teller at Mountain West Bank in Hailey to be pampered.

"I was really shocked. Everybody was so generous," Jozey said.

The donators for the ultimate prom experience go beyond Paula's. There were 15 services and items donated. She had a manicure, pedicure and facial through Total Body Care. Her makeup was done by Pure. Holly Mora of High Altitude Fitness offered a workout session and Desiree Moser of Beauty and Sol gave her a free tanning session. Mike Diem at East Avenue Bistro donated a dinner for Jozey and her date, Jake Robinson. Flowers were donated by Tara Bella Flowers. Alterations were offered by Michelle Jefferson of Couturier. A massage was donated by Jan Williams of Five Springs Wellness Center. Her jewelry came through D'Ette Lindberg Designs. Prom tickets for two came from Karen Pressman. Carol Harlig donated cash to purchase collage books at Boise State.

"Its really neat how this is snowballing," Proctor said.

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